While the desire to see Muslims come to Christ is an indication of love, treating people simply as potential converts makes them feel like projects. Our love for them has to be for them as individuals or they will likely reject our message.
Most Muslims know that Christianity is based on love, and are looking to see the love written in the Bible displayed in our lives. I was looking for it in my Christian friends, and saw little of it at first. They only related to me at that time in order to convert me, showing little care about me otherwise.
I listened patiently to them for quite some time, but then decided to tell them how I felt. I told them that if I had to become like them in order to be a Christian, then I never wanted to be a Christian. I felt that they lacked love for me, denying the validity of their message. When they heard it, they, to their credit, went and prayed long prayers of repentance before God, asking for another chance to share the love of Christ with me properly (I found out about this after I became a Christian). They changed. They began treating me like a person rather than a target, and some of them even became friends. That was much more convincing to me than them trying to make me convert. Their change was certainly not the most important part of me becoming a Christian (divine intervention was), but it did help.
What I am writing is not limited to Muslim ministry. I think that all people want to be treated with love. Non-Christians measure us by our love for them and for other Christians. We probably should ask ourselves how we’re doing in that area. Let’s really love rather than have those we’re ministering to and interacting with say, “Love? Really?”
Keywords: Muslim ministry, real love